By now, you’ve probably seen a Tesla driving around your city, or at least heard of these cars. In part, Tesla vehicles have helped the average consumer see that EVs can be fast and fun to drive. In recent years, cars like the Model 3 have also become relatively affordable.
But what would happen if Tesla expanded its innovative technology to e-bikes? One designer named Kendall Toerner has drawn up plans for how he thinks a Tesla e-bike could look, according to Outside.
How would you drive a Tesla e-bike?
Toerner’s Tesla e-bike concept, dubbed the Model B, according to Yanko Design, is far from a traditional bike. It has handlebars, but they’re stationary and propel the bike based on the applied force from the driver. A touchscreen control panel rests behind the handlebars, where the driver can activate Autopilot controls.
The foot pedals can be folded against the Model B when not in use, giving it a more aerodynamic design. Each wheel is equipped with an independent motor and turns based on the feedback it receives from the handles.
If you want to go faster, all you have to do is apply more pressure to the handlebars. Instead of spokes, a suspension is integrated on the wheels to handle rough pavement or rocky trails. The motors inside each wheel would also reportedly be strong enough to ascend hills without any issues.
Is it safe?
Like a Tesla car, the Model B would be equipped with Autopilot to take over for drivers in dangerous situations. It has sensors on all sides that detect other vehicles on the road, potential obstacles, or loss of control. With GPS enabled, you could also program a destination into Autopilot and have it drive you there by itself. You would also use the center touchscreen to deploy the footrests.
Is a Tesla e-bike practical?
While great in theory, there are a few reasons why the Tesla Model B wouldn’t work. For one thing, it would be hard to find a material strong enough to hold the suspension in each wheel. The Outside Online journalist points out that such a material would be too cumbersome to hold a bike tire.
Then there’s the issue of the Model B’s seat. Based on the concept, it doesn’t appear to have any customization or adjustability options. It’s also very short and narrow, so some drivers might not feel comfortable driving the bike at all.
Since the pedals are optional equipment, we can also assume that you don’t need to use them. This might be an appeal for some, but it really defeats the purpose of biking as an exercise. Pedaling an electric bike also helps charge the battery, but any e-bike from Tesla would probably have a lot of range.
Relying on the Autopilot feature may also give pause to some drivers. Elon Musk claims that the Autopilot feature will soon be “much safer” compared to a human driver. However, the numerous deaths and lawsuits related to the program seem to say otherwise.
A Tesla e-bike probably won’t be released
Technical issues aside, the Model B hasn’t been officially sanctioned by Tesla. Kendall Toerner doesn’t even work for the company. As for Elon himself, he has said in the past that a Tesla e-bike “might” happen, but it’s unlikely.
Tesla’s founder has also stated that he doesn’t believe motorbikes of any kind are safe, especially on rural roads. When he was 17, Elon was hit by a truck and nearly killed while he was riding his dirt bike. Maybe another major automaker will release an e-bike soon, but the proposed Tesla Model B will likely remain a concept.